About a month ago, I was contacted on social media by Decathlon offering me the opportunity to test and review their waterproof running jacket. If you haven't heard of them before, you should check out their stores. They have a store in Glasgow and Edinburgh and a number south of the border and many more stores in Europe.
I've purchased a number of things in the past from the Edinburgh store and even picked up some emergency socks when on holiday in Palma so when I was offered the chance to review some of their other products, I jumped at the chance.
On their website their mission statement is this:
Decathlon's main mission is to make sport accessible to as many people as we can. We would like to help, inspire and guide you through your sports experiences. We believe that being active and discovering new sports every day is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Let's do some sports together, as together is always more fun!
I really like what they stand for, the more we can be active, the healthier we will be.
The jacket I was given was the Men's Trail Jacket and I've taken my time to put it through it's paces over a variety of runs in terms of distance and conditions - including and a couple of runs in the hills in some pretty nasty conditions. I can definitely say it has been thoroughly tested.
Before getting on to the review itself, I want to make it clear that have been gifted this jacket in exchange for the review but on the agreement that it would be a completely honest review. I hate reading reviews where it is obvious someone is singing the praises of kit simply because they were given the kit for free. I want you to know what I like, dislike and would possibly change about a product so that you can make your own mind up before taking the plunge and buying one yourself.
Without any further delay, lets get to business.
Product : Kalenji men's waterproof jacket trail running
The jacket is made from 20.00% Polyurethane (PU), 80.00% Polyester (PES) and is very lightweight. As I said, I've done some pretty tough sessions in it and it felt really comfortable, I hardly noticed I had it on. I also wore it before and after hard sessions and it kept my sweaty body warm when there was a chilly wind blowing.
The hood fits brilliantly. It has a snug fit and stays on your head when the wind is howling. I had some pretty crazy runs in the hills with this jacket on and the hood was great. It kept the rain off my face and the snug fit meant I could concentrate on running rather than worrying about the hood flying off me head or getting in my way. It doesn't restrict your view either.
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Because it is so lightweight it also packs down really small and a nice addition to this jacket is that it comes with its own stuff bag. You can pack the jacket in to this bag and then store it in a rucksack for emergencies when the weather turns bad on a long run. You could actually run with it and just hold it but I don't fancy doing it for too long! What I've been doing is, doing my warm up, then taking my jacket off and putting it in it's stuff bag along with my gloves. I can then store them somewhere safe until I need them again for running home again.
There is also a handy wee pocket, inside one of the pockets, which I can put a house key in.
The fit is good too. There isn't too much material flapping around when the wind is blowing, always a bonus! Finally, the reflective strips on the jacket are a nice addition, a couple on the arms, one across the chest and one on the back (see not so good points below), to help keep you visible if running at night near traffic.
The waterproof quality of the jacket is brilliant. I went for a 13 mile run in the Carron Valley, it was raining for the entire run and I was amazed when I got back to the car to discover I was bone dry! Perfect.
The not so good.
As much as I do like this jacket, there are a couple of things I think could be improved. The first is the hood. It's the perfect hood when you have it on your head, however, there is nowhere to store it if you aren't wearing it. The problem I found was, when the wind is really blowing and you have the zip zipped right up to keep you warm, the hood becomes a parachute! I could feel it flapping around behind me! I tried to tuck it in but it just wouldn't stay put.
It would also be nice to have adjustable cuffs on the sleeves. This is just a personal thing but I like to be able to either roll my sleeves up a bit if I'm getting too warm or fasten them tight around my wrists if the weather is turning bad.
This one isn't really a negative but more something to look out for. I usually wear medium running tops but the jacket I had was a large. It was the ideal fit but if I had ordered online, I would have probably went for the medium.
The one reflective strip that is on the back of the jacket could be placed further down the back of the jacket as it's only visible if you have the hood up. Not a massive issue for me as I tend to wear running lights anyway but still, a small negative against the jacket.
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In terms of value for money, this is an amazing waterproof jacket and I would highly recommend it. The couple of negative points mentioned above aren't enough to stop me from wearing it and it has become my go-to jacket when it's wet outside - chosen over jackets three times the price. For me, the fit is great, the quality is good, it's nice and lightweight and it is actually waterproof! If you are looking for a waterproof jacket for the winter, definitely check this one out.